Today, María Victoria Ramírez Jou responds: I am a mother of two beautiful children. I have a degree in Communication Sciences, I am a TV, movie, and cultural events producer. I am also greatly committed to social organizations in the field of communication, promotion and fund-raising. I am 44 years old and married for twenty years to Claudio Arsissone; we have a family with two children: Costanza, who is 16 and Camilo is 13. I am a Schoenstatter, who sealed the Covenant of Love during my years in the Girls’ Youth. I have worked for the Family Branch by organizing a Latin American conference in Paraguay. I belonged to the Girls’ Youth during my last years of school and university; I was in charge of a group of CAVEVI (Camino, Verdad, Vida [Way, Truth, Life]) –a catechetical program for pre-teens, who have already made their First Communion and continue learning until they reach the age required for Confirmation preparation, and I was also in charge of a group of secondary students.
During my life my relationship with Schoenstatt has always been very important, the MTA has been in my eyes from my childhood, because my parents belonged to Schoenstatt at the start for a while and the MTA always had a central place in my parents’ bedroom.
During my engagement, I also received the best counseling and preparation from Father José María García, who helped us to strengthen our “fiat” and to seal the Second Covenant of Love in our lives. I was always very close to Schoenstatt, now as parents of a Girls’ Youth member and a Pioneer, we are giving back a little bit of all the blessings that we have received and continue to receive.
The Schoenstatt Movement gave me a mother in heaven and a practical guide with the Father, but it also gave me a spiritual father on earth, Fr. José María García, to whom we owe much of what we are as people, parents and as professionals •
Six months into the pilgrimage through the second century of the covenant of love, what is your dream for this Schoenstatt in who we are and where we find ourselves in the Church, the world, and in our mission?
I dream that my Schoenstatt can be the permanent and constant feeling of fiat. Schoenstatt is the Covenant of Love and about life itself. It materializes in daily living, where that commitment of being a better person is renewed day by day in a world that only presents with the accomplishments of model saints who appear remote to us. My goal would be that this Covenant be transformed into the mission of being and doing, and that is compatible in all phases of real life. That real life is not separated from spiritual life, truly becoming a reality in firm steps in all the facets in which I play a role. And it serves as a true and tangible instrument to speak with deeds and not only with lip service.
I dream that my Schoenstatt be a part of my name and that my name be a part of my Schoenstatt.
In order to fulfill this dream, what do we need to avoid or leave behind?
I believe that the most important thing is to set aside the ‘throwaway’ culture, which the Pope speaks about so much, that culture is deeply rooted and makes nothing eternal. To struggle against that. We are human beings and as such I believe that we should struggle to strengthen vital attachments. Fr. Joseph Kentenich regularly said that the person is the most important thing. I feel that has been set aside.
I also believe that it is very important to be careful with being “lite,” or superficial which is also deeply rooted. I believe that depth is the key for the life of faith; it is what sustains us and keeps us constant.
We should struggle for decisiveness in every sense.
In Paraguay there is a Schoenstatt that is in fashion, but it only serves to say that we are or belong to something fashionable, let us use this to conquer true hearts, maybe they will come through fashion, but that they will remain through conviction.
In order to fulfill this dream, what practical steps do we have to take?
Return to the roots.
Training in everything and whatever is within reach.
Your Covenant our mission, and there is no mission without works, without sending forth. We should build solid work paths and not divide our life into two parts, we should be one in all spheres and this will happen when our Schoenstatt is everywhere.
Living apostolate may you live your faith.